FSF is SOLVING a problem that did not exist 10 years ago
Posted Oct 2, 2006 9:57 UTC (Mon) by mingo
In reply to: FSF is SOLVING a problem that did not exist 10 years ago
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
The FSF is now trying to pretend that the changes in the GPLv3 were "always intended to be there" and that this somehow resulted in every contributor having accepted that intent being codified into the license.
To make it possible for "a user who needs changes in the system will always be free to make them himself, or hire any available programmer or company to make them for him" in the world where DRM is common GPLv2 is not enough. Thus GPLv3 was born. Where is "pretense" ?
Firstly, the "pretense" is in the sentence above that you only quoted partially in your reply. (You snipped away the crutial "having accepted that intent being codified into the license".)
Secondly, i contributed to GPL-ed projects, and i never accepted the GNU Manifesto's full range of 20 years old considerations being integrated into the GPL. I trusted the FSF to update the license to be "similar in spirit" so that it does minimal adoptations to new times, but now i see that trust being abused for political means, such as for the crusade against Tivo. So at least as far I am concerned, there is real pretense in the FSF's position.
Linus did not trust the FSF's "similar in spirit" promise and codified all contributions to Linux being under the GPLv2, and i see his distrust being largely justified today.
I never accepted every raving email or other writings of RMS being incorporated into the license by reference. I now see that the "or later" and "similar in spirit" clauses might legally enable RMS to achieve that, but i am outraged by his attempt to use that loophole.
Thirdly, even considering the words of the GNU Manifesto, it misses the point by a wide margin:
"a user who needs changes in the system will always be free to make them himself, or hire any available programmer or company to make them for him"
So tell me, if I etch a GPL-ed CPU design into silicon, for example via
this GPL-ed CPU design, what programmer on this planet could possibly modify that chip, if that chip is put into a system? Are you trying to argue that "modifiability" is an unqualified property of all systems that run GPL-ed code? Are you trying to argue that any CPU maker who uses GPL-ed designs is obligated to open up their fab process and let random users from the world produce their modified cores?
Fact is: no system exists today that is fully modifiable. Fact is: the FSF and you are trying to single out certain types of tools and techniques that can restrict hardware, after the fact (DRM has been around for 10 years or more), just because they and you dont like the restrictions on Tivo. Fact is: i never authorized the FSF with codifying technically inconsistent and vague statements of the GNU Manifesto and various other writings of RMS into the GPL license. They might be able to pull it off legally, but it is arbitrary and deeply political in my opinion, and against the trust i have put into the FSF when i made my contributions.
to post comments)